How does one know the holidays are coming? We begin with the act of reading the classic book by Dr. Seuss to the little ones before bedtime. Then, we all sit around the TV to enjoy the half hour special narrated by Boris Karloff. The Ron Howard movie with Jim Carrey portraying the main character is also an option. On top of all that… Atlanta gets to enjoy a live interpretation of the story at the fabulous Fox Theater this year. If you haven’t figured it out, I’m talking about that squirmy green guy, with a tiny heart, who tries to ruin Christmas for everyone, The Grinch.
Now my second born, the Viking Princess, is a Christmas baby. With each birthday I have to try and distinguish her special day against heavy handed commercialism and the overwhelming holiday spirit that occur this time of year. My tough little gal gets a little lost in the decorations and it’s hard to sing Happy Birthday when Ho Ho Ho’s blare everywhere you go. So imagine how excited we all got when we found out The Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Atlanta series was bringing us our favorite holiday classic. My petite, almost three year old has been talking about it since August.
The musical, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, originated at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. It was directed by Jack O’Brien, with book and lyrics by Timothy Mason. The original score was created by Mel Marvin with choreography by John Deluca. Opening in 1998, it has run every Christmas Season since. It made its way to Broadway in 2006. This time created and conceived by O’Brien and directed by Matt August. This production is the first Broadway musical to offer 12 performances a week. In the first week of December 2006, the musical topped the Broadway Box Office gross profits, ending Wicked’s infamous streak that had lasted 100 weeks.
It is all we hoped and dreamed for. Stefan Karl, who is best known as Robbie Rotten from the Nickelodeon series LazyTown, gives an iconic performance as Mr. Grinch. His perpetually moving fingers, drooping shoulders and turned down mouth draw the audience into his narrative. His funny dialogue and ever changing inflexion keep us, young and old alike, engaged until curtain call.
What makes this production new and improved is that it’s told from the perspective of Max, the devoted little canine that carries out the Grinch’s plan. Only, now, he is old reflecting upon that fateful day. The sets are delicious and look like they have jumped out of the original illustrations, with the licorice whip shading Seuss is known for. The color onstage is introduced by the costumes and props. Whoville and the Whos are bathed in pink and red like cotton candy, which exaggerates the sick toxic green associated with our main character.
This weekend, Nov. 29th– Dec. 4th, Atlanta gets to enjoy a spoonful of Seuss magic. We can enjoy a traditional story, funny hairdos, impressive melodies and music featuring the songs we know and love. Like a sing-a-long version of, “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch”. We see the antagonist whose heart is “two sizes too small”, transform into a protagonist when he discovers there is much more to Christmas than getting presents. The show is heart-warming with a moral to boot.
There is no better way to jump start the holiday spirit or just do something extraordinary for a little special someone, than to go down to The Fox Theater and see How the Grinch Stole Christmas .
Rain and Fire in Sedona
A rainy day in Sedona? What are we going to do. Everything we have planned is outdoors. I am pretty sure that is why people come to Sedona, for the beautiful OUTDOOR activities, like hiking, biking, Jeep tours, viewing the red rocks and photography.
What to do, what to do.
Oh, I know. I had the privilege of meeting some great artists that work in fire and glass! The perfect indoor activity when your outdoor plans are washed away!
The Melting Point in Sedona, conveniently located across the street for the Whole Foods (two birds with one stone, yeah!), is a group of artist focusing on creating and teaching others how to create as well.
When we entered the facilities, it was like entering a fine arts gallery. So many beautiful works of glass art. Jordan Ford is the general manager and one of the Artists. He came out of the workshop and told us the rules, then brought us into the fold.
We were about to become glass blowers!
Jordan had a love for the natural world from a very early age. He went on to study geology in college but that is when he discovered glass. He currently has Bachelor’s Degrees in both Earth Science/Geology and Visual Arts/Glassblowing.
Jordan says , “It’s the process of blowing glass that drives me. I find the physical act of making glass so overwhelmingly fascinating. I approach most of my work with a consideration for the more classical techniques – it’s the framework that I use as a jumping point for experimentation.”
Not only is Jordan incredibly talented, he is really personable and extremely funny. He made everyone in the room feel at ease and we all often irrupted in bouts of laughter.
Another artist that was helping us is Austin Littenberg. Austin became interested in the art of glass blowing at age 16 after watching a documentary. He spent over 12 years developing his craft and learning the technical precision needed to work at this level.
Austin views the many ways Art presents itself and is in tune with it all, and it shows.
Clearly these two artist love what they do, and I for one am grateful for their expertise and their willingness to show the world their art.
They worked with us to create a beautiful cactus, complete with three flowers, one for each kid, and a Sedona rock like base. We loved the patience they showed and the skill to make us feel at ease. We never felt like we were about to do something we just couldn’t. It felt like we had been doing this before. That is the measure of a true instructor.
Our work of art was complete and we left there feeling accomplished and quite honestly, amazing!
Both Austin and Jordan have remarkable skills but also wonderful comedic timing. They were a absolutely pleasure to meet and I look forward to keeping up with their art in the future.
If you find yourself in Sedona and want to meet some really wonderful people, stop by The Melting Point and say hello! While you’re there, blow some glass!
How could I forget one of them most important things; They have a studio dog! Austin brings his sweet baby girl to work with him and she is an angel! We loved her! Make sure you give her some love when you visit!
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Legends!
Behold the living legends! Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey brings the unbelievable to Children Of All Ages in an all-new show – – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS. Experience unimaginable family fun as amazing performers from around the globe perform awe-inspiring feats of daring, spectacles of strength and thrills of wonder to summon the mythical and the mysterious visions that have only existed in your imagination and now materialize before your eyes: the Unicorn, Pegasus and a Woolly the Mammoth! Join us for an unforgettable family night of legendary proportions at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS!
Free to all ticketholders, the All Access Pre-show allows circus fans to learn juggling and balancing skills, meet the performers of The Greatest Show On Earth, get autographs, take photos and enter to win a one-of-a-kind Pachyderm Painting.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS SM, playing Amway Center January 14-18, 2016. Save $4 off tickets using promo code 4MOM. Live tweet to us while you are there! @RinglingBros #BestGiftEver @BackstageBeat
NEW Children’s Museum of Atlanta Re-opens December 12!
Families will soon experience more STEAM-style activities and exhibits when visiting the newly renovated Children’s Museum of Atlanta, which re-opens to the public on Saturday, December 12. This iconic downtown attraction, which has been busy renovating since August of this year, now features targeted science, technology, engineering, arts and math education programming woven through almost every aspect of the enhanced space. Whether children build and shoot their own rocket launcher in the new “Gateway to the World” exhibit or design their dream home in the enhanced “Tools for Solutions” exhibit, the increased focus on STEAM learning enables the Museum to further prepare young children to be problem solvers and lifelong learners.
We got a sneak preview this week and I can honestly say it was the most fun my kids have had in a long time! They amount of things there are to do is mind boggling!
One of our favorite areas was Tools for Solutions – This enhanced, multi-layered zone reaches all ages and explores the science of building through four learning environments: the giant ball machine, Built-It Lab, Construction House and City Blocks. Using six simple machines, visitors can move balls through the Museum’s beloved giant ball machine. Children can also learn how to use real tools and materials in the new Build-It Lab, which will feature building workshops and more. This lab will also house a “Maker Space” to empower young children to harness their own ideas to build inventions and artistic creations. The Construction House, designed to showcase what is “behind the walls,” features a solar panel and incorporates activities on how to attach make-believe wires, connect pipes and insulate walls. City Blocks enables children to create skyscrapers and design the city of the future. Through this revitalized exhibit space, children can hone early and more complex math skills, as they learn the importance of processes and sequencing. They also utilize creativity, social emotional and gross and fine motor skills, while discovering that even the most intricate problems can be solved step-by-step with a solid strategy and through the use of tools.
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